The internet is full of good people (and a few dicks) but mostly good people.
Over the years I've been writing this blog, I've made some great mates. They're the kind of friendships that sustain me on days when I'm feeling overwhelmed or insignificant or both. The connections we've made over a shared love of internet geekery have converted to real life friendships.
This weekend most of my favourite internet peeps congregated on the Gold Coast. We laughed, we drank, we failed spectacularly in our abilities to catch food with our mouths at teppanyaki and we encouraged each other's forward plans.
It's easy to find yourself in a little slump after such a big weekend, but that's not why I found myself crying on my keyboard this morning.
Regular readers will remember that our farm website was hacked back in May. I paid our web host a sizeable chunk of money to clean it and while they insisted they had, our problems continued.
Our farm website redirected to terrible Russian site run by bad people. My host couldn't replicate the problem, then denied it was at their end, then demanded another sizeable chunk of money to fix the problem that they hadn't solved in the first place.
At dinner on Friday night between a ridiculously good piece of beef and a table-side crepe suzette production, I regaled my story of horror to the only people I knew would understand the calamity - fellow internet nerds.
My friend Robyn from Mrs D plus 3 (whose husband is a professional internet bouncer) said she'd just published a post about internet security. I lamented that it was all too late for my site and that the only solution I could think of was to trash it all and start again (an unfathomable undertaking for a woman who also needs to write a book). Later Robyn suggested she might ask Mr D to have a look at the site for me.
On Saturday night I forgot my worries, rocked out to eighties music and joined a conga line with my buddies behind one of the world's biggest bloggers. Then headed home to the farm and the reality of a still-hacked website that was costing us money daily. I emailed Rob and she set the wondrous Mr D to work.
I'd just put the kids in bed when Rob called and said she thought Mr D might be able to clean my site. Updates of Mr D's war against the Russians came via email and text during the evening. The following morning Mr D sent me an email. He'd picked those Russians up by the collar and tossed them out of my turf party. We were back in business. I cried tears of relief.
If you're a Sunshine Coast local, you may have noticed my little family on the cover of the Sunshine Coast Daily a few months back. If you're not a local or you missed it, you can read the story here.
The paper's interest in my blog wasn't accidental, it was the result of a brilliant press release that my friend Emily, author of Have a Laugh on Me and creative genius behind Write Styling, had crafted. I was excited about being included in Kidspot's blogger alumni and without a moment of hesitation Emily volunteered to write a press release for me. The results speak for themselves. If you want to get noticed, you need an Em Toxward press release!
This kind of cooperation is happening all over the internet: big bloggers mentor newer bloggers. Digital creatives share their knowledge with those keen to learn. And we all get by with a little help from our friends.
are you partial to the occasional late-night conga line?
how do you get by?